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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is any abnormal noise that seems to be coming from inside the ears or head. Common tinnitus noises include ringing, humming, whistling, buzzing, hissing or roaring. It is a symptom of an underlying medical issue, rather than being a condition on its own.
What causes tinnitus?
A common cause of tinnitus is damage to the inner ear or another part of the hearing system. However, other factors that can cause tinnitus or make symptoms worse include head injury, ear wax build-up, loud noises, stress or anxiety, a cardiovascular condition or …
Who gets tinnitus?
Tinnitus is often linked to hearing loss. For this reason, it tends to be more common in older people, as hearing loss is part of the natural ageing process. However, tinnitus can occur in anyone, including children.
How is tinnitus diagnosed?
Your doctor will usually diagnose tinnitus by asking you about your symptoms and looking in your ears with an instrument called an otoscope. Your doctor may also be able to rule out an underlying medical condition by looking closely at your head, face, neck and …
How is tinnitus treated?
Treatments for tinnitus vary, depending on the severity and cause of symptoms. In cases where the cause is known, treatment will focus on that condition. However, if the cause is unknown, treatment options may include relaxation, avoiding loud environments or …
Can tinnitus be prevented?
Tinnitus can usually only be prevented by avoiding exposure to loud music or certain medications known to produce symptoms. For example, listening to music at a low volume and using hearing protection such as earplugs in loud environments is recommended.
What is the outcome for tinnitus?
Tinnitus affects people in many different ways. For example, some people may experience mental health issues or difficulty sleeping if symptoms can't be controlled. However, others can successfully manage symptoms and lead a normal life. Although long-term …
What increases the chances of developing tinnitus?
Factors that increase the chances of developing tinnitus include older age, certain cardiovascular conditions, smoking, stress and regular exposure to loud noises.
About this article
Author: Lauren Donley BSc (Hons)
First answered: 10 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Votes: 1030 (Click smiley face below left to rate)